10 favourite Needlepoint Embroidery Stitches

Learn your favourite Needlepoint Embroidery Stitches with this guide.

Needlepoint embroidery is not for the fainthearted. It takes a lot of dedication and patience to complete a small area in needlepoint embroidery but once completed, no other embroidery looks as beautiful.

needlepoint embroidery work

Needlepoint is a kind of embroidery in which the whole foundation fabric is covered with embroidery stitches. Silk threads, wool yarn or embroidery floss are used to make the stitches that cover the base fabric, usually canvas.

Related post: Meaning of embroidery ; Different embroidery techniques and their names

There are countless stitches and their variations in needle point embroidery. If you go through a needle point book with all the different variety of stitches, you may decide to quit the embroidery altogether and go do something else- in confusion as to which to choose – Bargello, Florentine stitch, Tent stitch, Basketweave stitch, Scotch stitch, Smyrna stitch, Rhodes stitch. They are all beautiful and incomparable.

But some stitches truly elevate the beauty of a needlepoint artwork, and at the same time are very easy to make. Here are some of them – my fovourites.

Needlepoint Embroidery Stitches

Basic Tent stitch

tent stitch

This is the simplest of all needle point stitches and the most difficult. Simple, because it is very easy to make a single stitch but difficult, because if you make small tent stitches on your canvas, the time taken to complete a work is so much more than when covered with large covering stitches.

how to make a tent stitch

The tent stitch is a small diagonal stitch worked in a row. The stitch is worked from left to right. You can create great shading effect using this stitch – and because of this versatility, this is the most commonly used stitch in needle point embroidery.

You can work this over a straight stitch for a raised effect. It can also be done diagonally across the fabric. 

Cross Stitch

cross stitch is a basic needle point stitches

This counted stitch another very commonly used needle point stitch – but beautiful nevertheless.

needle point- cross stitch

This can be done the same way you do cross stitch embroidery – make diagonal stitches first and then comes back and finish the crosses or as stand alone cross stitches.

Learn other varieties of cross stitch here.

Brick stitch

needle point embroidery - brick stitch

In this, short stitches are made in a brick laying fashion. After one row of stitches is made, the next one is made so that the stitches begin half way from the first row of stitches. That sounds confusing, but it is quite easy to make.

Just make back stitches to work the row of straight stitches. When you begin the next row of stitches, ensure that the junction between the stitches come between the first row of stitches – there I have managed to confuse you again. Even I am confused now. You can see in the picture below, it is easy.

Brick stitch in needle point embroidery

Plait stitch

Plait stitch in needle point stitch embroidery

This is a long legged cross stitch with the legs inteweaved.You will be starting the next stitch between the first stitch. 

needle point embroidery stitches

This gives a plaited effect.

plait stitches

Diagonal Stitch

needle point embroidery work stitches - Diagonal Stitch

Make straight stitches in a diagonal manner, making them fit against each other.

Diagonal Stitches .

Mosaic stitch

mosaic stitch

You can mark your squares for this stitch with 4 horizontal and 4 vertical threads of the fabric. Make diagonal stitches in the direction you want.

needle point stitch list -mosaic stitch
mosaic stitch

Florentine stitch

florentine stitch

This stitch is also called the flame stitch.

how to make the florentine stitch

It is made in a zig zag manner – straight stitches are made in a wave like pattern.

needle point embroidery stitch

Hungarian stitch

hungarian stitch in needle point

This consists of 3 straight stitches – the longer one in the middle, flagged by the shorter ones.

Star Stitch

star stitch in needle point embroidery

Eight straight stitches are made around a hole for making this stitch.

Rhodes stitch

rhodes - best needle point stitch

This is a beautiful 3 dimensional stitch. You will be marking a small square for each stitch – usually 6 or 7 threads are used to mark the square.

Start with a diagonal stitch across the square from one corner to the other. The subsequent stitches are made across the next holes. Follow the picture below.

how to sew the rhodes

You can add some other stitches like Backstitch, Cross-stitch, Satin stitch, Long and short stitch, French knot, Chain stitch, to make it even more spectacular.

Which thread is used to make needle point embroidery stitches?

Wool, cotton, silk, and synthetic fibers like acrylic are used to make needle point stitches.

What needles are used for needle point embroidery?

Tapestry needles are generally used for needle point embroidery stitches. Tapestry needles have a large eye that can accommodate thicker threads and a blunt tip that helps prevent splitting the canvas fibers. The needle size (indicated by a number) should match the thread thickness and the canvas mesh size.

Best fabrics for needlepoint embroidery?

DIfferent types of canvas like Mono canvas, penelop canvas, interlock canvas, cotton duck cloth, linen and aida cloth are usually used to do needlepoint embroidery

Related posts : Hand embroidery stitch index; Best filling stitches; Best background stitches; Hand embroidery FAQ.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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